Pope prays for Katrina victims

Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday he was praying for victims of the "tragic" hurricane that has devastated parts of the southern United States and urged rescue workers to persevere in bringing comfort to survivors.

In a telegram of condolences, Benedict said he was "deeply saddened" to learn of the wrath of Hurricane Katrina, which slammed into the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on Monday, the AP reports.

The telegram, sent by the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, said Benedict was praying for the victims and offered consolation to their families.

"His Holiness likewise prays for the rescue workers and all involved in providing assistance to the victims of this disaster, encouraging them to persevere in their efforts to bring relief and support," the telegram said.

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